Donating & Reusing Clothing

Parent Q&A

Looking for Place to Drop off Donation May 28, 2020 (3 responses below)
  • Looking for Place to Drop off Donation

    (3 replies)


    I have several garbage bags full of new or lightly used men's, women's, children's and baby clothes, shoes, toys, etc.  Does anyone know of a nonprofit that is currently accepting donations?

    Thank you!

    Out of the Closet on E 18th and Lakeshore is accepting donations again. They seem to not be open, just have their doors open and a sign on a table saying they're taking items. 

    Loved Twice is currently accepting donations of baby clothes (0-12M) -

    I was at the El Cerrito Recycling Center today (6/3) and saw that the Goodwill donation truck was open and accepting donations.

  • We are moving and I am trying to purge responsibility. I would like your suggestions on places to donate/recycle: 1) unopened non-perishable food; 2) clothing including professional -- I would prefer to donate to an organization that helps refugees; 3) undergraduate (some outdated) and graduate textbooks; 4) opened packages of diapers and close to expiration date car seats and 5) textile recycling (ripped clothing and linens). Thank you!

    Hello - 

    I would gratefully accept the diapers - our first child is due in less than a month!

    For ripped textiles, I drop my items off at a USAgain site. There is one in El Cerrito, in the parking lot of the shopping center that has bed bath and beyond, cvs, Trader Joe’s. If I remember correctly, it’s in front of the cvs. 


    Thank you for doing things responsibly! Here's what I've learned in our recent purge: 1) If the food's expiration date is at least 3 months away, you can drop it off at an Alameda County Food Bank collection point - Berkeley Bowl and other locations have permanent barrels out where you can leave donations. (Side tip: That's what I do with our earthquake kit supplies when I rotate them out.) See list of locations here: If the expiration date is coming up, I've had good luck giving things away on BPN/Craigslist/Freecycle/Buy Nothing Facebook group. 2) The IRC helps re-settle refugees and can usually use professional clothes - their space is limited, though, so they don't take other clothing. More info here: I'll bet someone else on this list knows a church or other organization helping local refugee families that could use clothing. 3) Outdated textbooks are pretty much just recycling - hopefully someone will have a better idea, but that's my experience sorting book donations for the library. You can also leave books at the re-use area at the El Cerrito recycling facility. 4) Opened diapers/used car seats are probably a good choice for Freecycle/etc., unless someplace like Bananas wants them. 5) You can take worn-out textiles to any H&M store for recycling: Good luck with the move!

    If the food is not past its stated sell-by/use-by date, maybe just drop it in a food donation barrel.

    I believe both Jewish Family Services and Catholic Charities work with resettling refugee families.  Other option for professional clothing: BOSS in Berkeleuy.

    Textiles: Towels (only) can go to animal shelters.  All-Cotton t-shirts to Waterside Workshop in Berkeley (they use them as rags in their bike refurbishing program).  Ripped textiles - North Face has a collection barrel for textiles and shoes in any condition.

    Unless the textbooks are pretty recent, I doubt you'll find a charity that will take them.  You could bring them to El Cerrito Recycling Center exchange area.

    Diapers - What size?  I work with needy families who would be delighted to get diapers; feel free to message me.  Also - Bananas 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Where to Donate maternity/nursing clothes

March 2012

I have some maternity clothes and nursing shirts, tanks and a few other items. I would like to donate them to needy mother or an organization that could put them to use. Any ideas would be great! Hubby says we are done with kids

There is an organization in San Leandro that works with women and their children who are homeless or had to leave a violent home -- for info and/or contact please check out I have also started to post items from free on Craigslist -- I basically provided a description, sizes etc. and gave away my entire pregnancy wardrobe (in one listing, not piece by piece).

Where to donate quality children's and women's clothing

Sept 2010

Looking for suggestions on where to donation quality children's and women's clothing in Oakland/Emeryville/Berkeley. Other than Goodwill drop off center. The archive exchanges were out of date- called a few places listed and they are no longer in services. Any updated suggestions would be great!

For higher quality clothing, I would consider Dress Best for Less on Piedmont Avenue.

ECAP (Emeryville Community Action Program)! Donations go directly to the needy folks who need them. Drop off at 3610 San Pablo. Here is some YELP input:

For nice business attire for women, you might also try BOSS. R.K.Donating good quality men's & women's clothing

Jan 2008

I have a fair amount of good quality men's and women's clothing that I would like to donate. I live in Berkeley and don't want to schlep too far to deliver the stuff. Any ideas? Thanks. l_l
''We are a community where people with nowhere to turn, turn their lives around.'' I called them and their drop off is at: 600 Embarcadero Street in San Francisco (between Brannen and Townsend) This is an exceptional organization! Lupe

I volunteer at the Clausen House Thrift Store on Telegraph and 48th St. in Oakland. They take good quality clothes. Donations are accepted daily; you might want to call to make sure of the times, but I know they're open in the afternoons til 4 or 5. I think they open at 11. They also often pick stuff up if you call and tell them what it is. Linda

Please give anything you can to the Howie Harp Center for the Homeless at 18th and San Pablo in downtown Oakland (510-238-3964 or 510-238-6590). They provide services free of charge like GLIDE in SF, only they aren't religious and are right her in our community. The needs are huge, and they REALLY NEED MEN'S CLOTHING, especially warm clothing. If you can provide any hotel or small-sized shampoos, lotions, tooth paste,etc, they need that, too. Their services:
- Medical Care - Same Day Services: winter clothing, hygiene kits, nutritional pakages, haircuts, massages, bag lunches - Sign-up for services like Medi-Cal - Employment help - Case mgmt - Winter Shelter - Housing - Disabled care, wheelchair repairs, Center for Independent Living
Thanks for anything you can provide. Christina

Try BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-SUFFICIENCY (BOSS) on Kitteridge in Berkeley. Their web site is

Another good place - but a bit farther - is ECAP (Emeryville Community Action Program) which gives everything free to needy folks. They are at 3410 San Pablo. R.K.

Donating gently-used bras

Sept 2007

After breastfeeding 2 kids, I have a number of gently-used bras -- many of them quite lovely and in great shape -- that just don't fit me anymore. Is there anyplace out there that would want them? Artists? Women's shelters? I'm assuming Goodwill and their ilk don't want used undergarments, even nice ones. Not Wearing Demicups Anymore

The Berkeley Women's Shelter at 2140 Dwight Way, just above Shattuck, will accept the bras. The shelter itself is always open after 4pm every day of the week, and the daytime program is open after 10am Sunday through Thursday (except Wed. when it opens after 12). Just ring the doorbell and tell them you're dropping off a clothes donation. If you have any problems, just email me and I can take them over there, since I used to be a volunteer. Nancy

The Salvation Army (the one I use is in Alameda: 1918 Park St. Alameda, CA 94501; or in Berkeley: 1824 University Ave. Berkeley, CA 94703) is happy to take women's clothing, including bras. I donate to them on a regular basis; gave them everything of my Mom's when she died, etc. --Always Cleaning Out Closets/Cupboards

I've recently become a big fan of Things I really like about are that: a) it is a good place to recycle things that are not traditional Goodwill-type donations b) it is really helpful to those of us who are working-class, and value hand-me-downs and don't qualify for programs c) It's very local and easy to use. Your items will certainly be adopted and appreciated. L

''One Warm Coat'' Drop-Off Center in Berkeley?

Nov 2005

Every fall and winter the organization One Warm Coat collects coats and jackets to distribute to those who need them. Does anyone know of a Berkeley drop-off center for this year? (I've checked their website and didn't find anything in Berkeley, but wondered if a local group was planning a coat drive in conjunction with OWC.) Melanie

Bay Street Shopping Center in Emeryville and One Warm Coat have been partners for several years and each year Bay Street serves as a drop-off site. Donations will be accepted there BEGINNING THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. They make it really easy to donate, you literally can just drive right up and drop it off without having to park! Patrice

Donating my family's used clothing

June 2002

I am looking for somewhere to donate used clothes (women's, men's and baby) and some baby bottles. I would prefer a battered woman's shelter but am open to other options. Somewhere in Oakland would be best for me but would consider other areas. Thanks in advance Joelle

I would like to suggest donating to FESCO, which is a shelter for families with children in Hayward. I personally know a woman who is very involved and she speaks very highly of the program. They work really hard at finding permanent housing for families and also have their own transitional housing.

A Safe Place is a battered women's shelter in Berkeley. Good luck! B Avalon

Mom and Pop Green accept donations for fire victims. They will pick up if need be. You can reach them at 510-261-7724 They are in Oakland. Wendy

Call the Women's Refuge in Berkeley and ask what they need. Also the City of Oakland and the City of Berkeley can probably refer you to shelters. Some shelters are listed in the front of the phone book under emergency services. nancy

I have donated women's and children's clothing and children's toys and supplies to the following organizations:

Healthy Babies Project - A great organization that helps women who are working hard to stay clean and sober. Needs kid's and women's clothes, maternity, toys. Drop off on porch at 3328 Elm Street at 34th near summit med ctr. 596-4189 or 450-0881 Other Women's Shelters:
Dwight way shelter 649-4976
Harrison house 525-5896
Women's daytime drop-in center (don't have phone number)


Bay Area Crises Nursery has a wish list here: They are a wonderful organization. Here is their mission:

The purpose of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery is to prevent abuse and neglect of children by providing support to families who are in stress or crisis. Our primary service is providing a warm, loving, homelike environment for children birth through five years of age by offering 24 hour residential care.

Another great organization to donate Baby stuff to is:

Casa Vincentia A home for homeless pregnant women Location: 3210 62nd Ave. (510) 729-0316 Oakland, CA 94605

You can drop children's toys and clothing off at BANANAS, a non-profit child care referral and education center located at Claremont Ave in Oakland, close to the DMV and the 51st St/Telegraph/Claremont intersection. For directions, more info, call 658-7353. Barbara

We recently donated a lot of childrens' clothes and toys to Bananas in Oakland. Great organization doing great work. They didn't require the clothes to be cleaned, although we had washed them before storing them away years ago. Timothy

We recently (February 2001) tried to donate a lot of (women's, maternity, baby) clothes and none of the organizations in Berkeley that were mentioned below were taking any. Our childcare provider suggested the Richmond Rescue Mission and that's where we went (2nd and MacDonald in Richmond, from Harbour Way freeway exit; phone (510) 215-4555, opening times Monday - Thursday 8-5, Friday and Saturday 8-4). They are very professional, and they give the stuff for free to families that find themselves in emergency situations. Sebastian and Angela

alice 11/99
Re: donating used clothes, The Social Welfare Undergraduate Association is sponsoring a sock and towel drive for agencies serving the homeless. The emphasis is on socks and towels because these usually don't get donated, but they are also accepting clothing in clean/good condition. Clothes can be dropped off at 219 Haviland Hall, or call 642-4407 for pickup info.

I have several large bags of women's, men's, and children's clothing

Aug 2003

I have several large bags of women's, men's, and children's clothing to donate to charity. Most of the archives I saw only pertained to women and children, or were several years old. I have quite a bit of men's clothes to donate too. Any suggestions of a charity/organization who will take them all? Easy parking/drop-off is a big plus!!! Thanks. Heidi

I usually take clothes to the Richmond Rescue Mission ( at McDonald and 1st in Richmond. Not a great neighborhood, but easy parking and you can get a tax receipt. Cathy

I've donated all types of clothing and other items to the Emeryville Community Action Program (ECAP). They are located on Solano Avenue in Emeryville, close to the Comp USA/Home Depot complex. I love how friendly they have been and how professionally they have handled accepting the clothing and giving me a receipt. There is a small parking lot that you can pull right into, too. I see many people there collecting groceries when I drive by, so I know that they have a very active outreach to homeless and low income families in and around Emeryville. Unlike other agencies that sell the clothes, I believe that they have the clothes available for others to use, which means that they are far more accepting of clothes that are not in top shape. Putting used clothing to good use

Out of the Closet on University (and McGee I think?) takes all kinds of stuff. You can pull right up to the side of the building, drop the stuff off and get a receipt. elisabeth

The Richmond Rescue Mission (in Richmond--corner of MacDonald and 2nd) will take clothes for all manner of people--men, women, children--as well as household items (check with them first for things like books, furniture; they don't take mirrors or other large glass items). They run a family shelter, a men's shelter, rehab, and help get people into housing. I take stuff from colleagues there regularly, as well as our own stuff. RRM is my favorite donation station, and the only one I use now. Amy

Why don't you give Berkeley-Oakland Social Services a call?

Goodwill on San Pablo at about 61st Ave in Oakland - parking lot and they'll take it all and give a tax deductible receipt. Salvation Army - downtown Oakland - drop off in back off of Webster street. They have volunteers to help unload. Anon.

Woodstock Child Development Center in Alameda could really use your children's clothing (you could also ask if they might take adults). They are a public school preschool serving low income families. (They also need art supplies and diapers!) You can call them at 748.4001. I'd be happy to pick the clothing up if that would help. peggy

What about the Alta Bates store in Market Hall in Rockridge? They have parking, and they sell everything, and it benefits people who need medical help... Karen

About once a month, a group called Community Assistance for the Retarded and Handicapped (CARH) calls and asks if we have donations (of clothing, household stuff, etc.). If we do, they come to the house and pick it up. You might want to call them and see if they do pickups in your neighborhood. From what I understand, they have a stores in the Bay Area and sell items there to raise funds for their programs. It has been a very easy way for us to donate. anon

More suggestions for where to donate clothing

March 1999

The Women's Refuge is a great place to donate that stuff! 510/547-4663 They house and help homeless women and children. You can ccall to get the address where to drop off your used baby items. They'll give you a receipt for taxes.

I donate infants, childrens' and women's clothes, toys and books to the Women's Refuge . They are in the phone book. Call them to set up a drop-off. They almost always need stuff because the women and children who come there are often fleeing a domestic violence situation and only have the clothes on their backs. They may also need things like towels, soap, toiletries, etc. Nancy

Another organization that houses homeless pregnant women is Casa Vincentia. They are almost always looking for stuff for babies and pregnant moms. (A great way to get rid of maternity clothing in a way that *really* helps) You can reach them at: 510-729-0316 Myriam

There's an organization in the city called Women's Alcoholism Center . From what I know, they run homes where women can live with their children while obtaining treatment for alcoholism. I'm sure they would love a donation of children's clothing, toys, etc. Their number is 415-776-1001. Christina

Dec 1998 I work with a wonderful organization in Oakland called the Jobs Consortium . It helps place the homeless in jobs with job training, counseling, housing services, literacy training and the like. They also accept clothing donations for the homeless, especially clothing needed for a job interview. You may contact them at 251-6241 and ask how you may donate. They also accept HOLIDAY TOY donations for kids of their clients. Kris

Right here in Berkeley, the Women's Daytime Drop-In Center at 2218 Acton (548-2884) can generally use clothes, particularly anything women can wear for job interviewing, etc. It sounds like exactly the kind of place you are looking for. They can use things other than clothing too (they usually have a list of things they need...I have given irons, clocks, etc.). Give them a call. Charlotte

My husband and I just bought a new crib for our baby. We asked at the store where we could donate the old crib, and the woman suggested the Richmond Rescue Mission . They do pick-ups. We called and left a message, but haven't heard back yet. Give them a try. They're in the phone book. Laurel

Chrysalis House in Oakland is a women's shelter for battered women that accepts donations of women's and childrens' and babies' clothes and toys, etc. You don't have to make an appointment, but it's a good idea to call for directions. Phone number is in the phone book. Raissa